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Bloomberg News: Market Rout Evokes Memories of Trading Before Lehman Blowup

June 14, 2022
Market Crash

Article by Ye Xie, Isabelle Lee, Amelia Pollard, and Peyton Forte in Bloomberg News

Quincy Krosby couldn’t wait for Monday’s trading session to be over.

“I was glued to the screen,” LPL Financial’s chief equity strategist said in an interview.

It was just one of those days with losses so gigantic that solely looking at stocks wasn’t enough. Her eyes strayed to bonds, to credit default swaps and elsewhere as she tried to figure out how bad things were and might get.

What she saw was ugly. Even by the standards of this volatile year, Monday’s wild ride throughout financial markets stands out. Two-year US Treasury yields surged 29 basis points as bond prices tanked. The yield jumped 54 basis points since Thursday night, the biggest two-day increase since 2008, a sign of just how rapidly traders are adjusting where they think the Federal Reserve will take interest rates.

All but five stocks in the S&P 500 tumbled, and the benchmark posted a more than 20% loss since its January peak, crossing into a bear market. On Tuesday morning in Asia, stocks extended the selloff as investors continued to process the possibility of more rapid Fed tightening, with MSCI’s Asia-Pacific share index falling more than 1.5%. 

Cryptocurrencies plummeted so violently that a popular lending platform froze withdrawals to prevent a very modern kind of bank run. Over in old-school currencies, the U.S. Dollar Index roared to the highest level in almost two decades as investors sought safety.

It was enough, for some, to resurface scary memories of the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. Christian Hoffmann, a portfolio manager for Thornburg Investment Management, said market liquidity has deteriorated so much that he’s thinking about the dark days of 2008.

“Liquidity in the market is worse than it was leading up to Lehman,” said Hoffmann, who worked at the firm that imploded back then, triggering the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. It’s the kind of problem that can exacerbate losses in a big way. “That creates even more risk, because if the market doesn’t have liquidity, it can gap down very quickly.”

Since a surprisingly hot inflation report Friday, investors have become increasingly worried that the Fed will have to tighten monetary policy so aggressively that it tips the economy into a recession. Economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Nomura Holdings Inc. Monday joined their peers at Barclays and Jefferies to call for the central bank to announce a 75-basis-point hike on Wednesday, which would be the biggest increase since 1994.

Instead of serving as a haven in times like this, the Treasury market and its huge spike in yields has become a catalyst for the market-wide plunge. It reminded .......

To read this article in Bloomberg News in its entirety, click here.

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